How To Prepare
Before the X-ray test, tell your doctor
if you are or might be pregnant. Pregnancy and the risk of radiation exposure
to your unborn baby (fetus) must be
considered. The risk of damage from the X-rays is usually very low compared
with the potential benefits of the test. If a facial X-ray is absolutely
necessary, a lead apron will be placed over your abdomen to shield your baby
from exposure to the X-rays.
Talk to your
doctor about any concerns you have regarding the need for the test, its risks,
how it will be done, or what the results will mean. To help you understand the
importance of this test, fill out the
medical test information form(What is a PDF document?).
You don't need to do anything else before
you have this test.
How It Is Done
A facial X-ray is taken by a radiology
technologist. The X-ray pictures are usually read by a doctor who specializes
in interpreting X-rays (radiologist),
but other doctors may also review the films.
You will need to
remove any jewelry that may be in the way of the X-ray picture. You will also
need to remove glasses or dentures.
You may be asked to lie on an
X-ray table or sit in a chair. Several views (a series) of X-ray pictures are
needed for clear pictures of the face. Your head may need to be repositioned
for each view. You should hold your head completely still while the pictures
are being taken. A padded brace, foam pads, a headband, or sandbags may be used
to hold your head in place while the pictures are taken.
pictures of the orbital cavities or sinuses are needed, you will usually sit up
while they are taken. A padded brace may be used to hold your head still while
the pictures are taken.
Facial X-rays usually take about 10 to 20
minutes. You will wait about 5 minutes until the X-rays are processed in case
repeat pictures need to be taken. In some clinics and hospitals, X-ray pictures
can be shown immediately on a computer screen (digitally).